Aaron Purcell's galloper St Jean earns a break after consecutive victories

WARRNAMBOOL trainer Aaron Purcell will enter his imported stallion St Jean in both the Caulfield and Melbourne cups after he claimed consecutive city wins on Saturday.

St Jean was an impressive victor in an $80,000 benchmark 90 race at Sandown.

Purcell dropped the four-year-old off at Rosemont Stud at Ceres for a three-week break following his win in the 2400-metre race.

From his outside barrier St Jean was caught three-wide leaving the straight. He was off the pace mid-race. Jockey Damian Lane made his move at the 400-metre mark, holding off Sacred Flyer and Happy As Hell in the run to the line.

Lane was happy how St Jean raced and with his ability to stay.

“It was a tough win, he had to work early and again a fair way from home, but he’s a genuine stayer who rolls along but with more racing in Australia he will learn the sit and sprint pattern,” Lane said. 

“I was impressed with how he raced. I’m confident he will keep on improving going forward.”

Purcell said St Jean was getting bigger and stronger with each run.

“St Jean has a good racing pattern,” Purcell said.

“He’s a very tough horse. He puts himself in the race and he’s always strong to the line so that gives him a good chance of winning. It will take a pretty strong horse to outstay him.

“I’m not sure he will measure up to the spring but he deserves an entry in the Caulfield and Melbourne cups. 

“We’ve got to lift up his rating but if he does not make the Caulfield and Melbourne cups there are plenty of other exciting options open for him over the spring.”

St Jean cost nearly $150,000 and landed in Australia after Purcell purchased him last November. He has now won three races from six starts for Purcell.

Meanwhile, Ciaron Maher’s Mr O’Ceirin pushes forward to next Saturday’s group 2 $300,000 Brisbane Cup following his second placing behind Moriarty in the Eagle Farm Cup on Saturday.

Maher said Mr O’Ceirn would appreciate soft going in the Brisbane Cup. “I thought Mr O’Ceirin’s run in the Eagle Farm Cup was super,” the Winslow trainer said.

“He’s at his top for the Brisbane Cup. I’m hoping there will be some rain this week which will help his chances in what looks to be a tough race.”

Srikanda, also trained by Maher, is the favourite for the group 1 $1.36 million Stradbroke Handicap to be run at Eagle Farm next Saturday.

Akzar, the winner of last month’s Warrnambool Cup, is heading to the spelling paddock following his unplaced run in the Eagle Farm Cup.


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